Indianapolis Truck Accident Attorney
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Data reveals that in 2018, 4,862 large trucks were involved in fatal crashes with other vehicles while 59,933 large trucks were involved in injury crashes with other vehicles. From 2017 to 2018, the number of large trucks involved in injury crashes altogether jumped from 107,000 to 112,000, a 5% increase.
As you can see, truck accidents are all too common and vehicle passengers tend to be the victims of these accidents, suffering fatalities, and death. Although truck accidents can injure and kill truck drivers as well, passenger vehicle occupants are disproportionally at risk for getting hurt due to the size and scale of their vehicles in comparison to large semi-trucks. Think about it: A car could easily get wedged under a big rig, injuring the vehicle occupants but not the truck driver.
If you got injured in a truck collision, you must equip yourself with an experienced and honest Indianapolis truck accident lawyer at Hayes Law Office. Attorney Hayes will go above and beyond to help hold the responsible party accountable for their negligence and wrongdoings and negotiate for the most favorable outcome available. Count on Hayes Law Office to stand up for you and fight for the highest, fairest settlement possible in your case.
To schedule your free consultation, reach out to us online or at (317) 759-1515!
Who Is Liable in a Truck Accident?
After getting into a truck accident, you must figure out who’s at fault. You may feel disoriented and overwhelmed after your accident, but it’s important to place the blame on the correct party. Pointing fingers at anyone and anything could only make your situation worse, so it’s important to speak to a knowledgeable lawyer who understands the dynamics of the trucking industry because the truck driver may not be at fault in your case.
As such, one or more of the following parties may be liable for your trucking accident:
- Truck driver: If you refer to the common causes of truck accidents above, you will learn why truck drivers could be at fault for causing an accident. A trucker may have run a red light, dozed off, or sent a text message while driving, resulting in an accident.
- Trucking company: The commercial trucking company may have failed to follow safety and maintenance protocols or failed to adhere to other guidelines. Trucking companies are responsible for maintaining and inspecting their trucks to ensure any defects go undetected but may fail to adhere to these critical duties.
- Trucking manufacturers: If a truck consists of defective parts or is defective altogether, the manufacturer of the parts, the manufacturer of the truck, or even the truck mechanic could be held responsible for causing the truck accident.
- Cargo loaders: As mentioned before, loading cargo properly is essential for the security of the truck and the safety of the truck driver. If cargo exceeds the truck’s weight limit or is stored in improper temperatures, for example, things can go terribly wrong.
- Government: Government agencies, such as highway and transportation bureaus, are responsible for ensuring and enhancing road safety. If a pothole goes untouched for weeks or a posted street sign needs to be updated, these agencies must handle it right away to best prevent accidents. However, road safety isn’t always treated like a priority by these agencies, resulting in truck accidents.
How Are Truck Accidents Caused?
There is no single culprit of trucking accidents, as these collisions can be caused by a variety of factors that are both in and out of the control of the responsible party. With this in mind, truck accidents can occur from the following:
- Lack of training: Truck drivers must undergo training and demonstrate certain capabilities before getting the go-ahead to operate large trucks. Unfortunately, far too many truckers get approved to drive despite failing to meet all training requirements, resulting in risks to themselves and others.
- Mechanical failures/poor maintenance: Semi-trucks are large and mighty, consisting of various complex parts and functions. If these parts and functions aren’t inspected properly, a trucker will be at risk of getting into an accident. Unfortunately, a lot of trucking companies are so concerned about their tight delivery schedules that they don’t take the time to maintain their trucks before it hits the road.
- Unsecured cargo: A truck’s cargo load can greatly affect the truck and the truck driver, as each load must be a certain height, weight, size, etc. When hazardous materials are on board, it is especially important to secure this dangerous cargo as safely as possible. However, failing to load cargo properly and ensure it is safely secured could have fatal consequences.
- Distracted driving: Being on the road for hours and hours can invite distractions, such as eating, texting, and listening to music. These examples of distracted driving may only take a trucker’s eyes off the road for a couple of seconds, but one second of distraction is one too many when operating a large and heavy truck.
- Fatigue: The average truck driver is expected to drive 2,500 miles a week, which is extensive and draining for anyone, no matter how much trucking experience they have. And no, not even coffee or energy drinks can fix fatigue every time. As such, it is not surprising that fatigue is a common cause of truck accidents.
- Traffic violations: Truck drivers are people too, and they are just as vulnerable to committing a traffic violation as you. Speeding, running red lights, and weaving in and out of lanes are common types of traffic violations committed by truckers, but the outcomes can be destructive.
- Unreasonable work schedules: Truckers are expected to drive thousands of miles a week with little downtime and tight deadlines. With so much at stake, they are often pressured to adhere to unrealistic schedules, resulting in careless mistakes and slipups. These flaws can be fatal.
- Road and weather conditions: Snow, ice, rain, and wind are dangerous weather conditions that can create even more dangerous road conditions. As you can imagine, it’s difficult enough to slam the brakes on a big rig truck but even more difficult to do so safely when the roads are slippery. Keep in mind that bad weather could also obstruct truckers’ view of the roads, making them prone to truck accidents.
What Are Common Truck Accident Injuries?
Injuries can develop immediately after an accident or days, weeks, or months later. That’s why you should seek medical attention right after your accident even if you don’t feel hurt, as doctors may detect underlying or prospective injuries. Among the most common injuries from truck accidents are:
- Head and brain injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Cuts, bruises, and scars
If are a truck driver or vehicle occupant who got injured in a truck crash, an Indianapolis truck accident attorney at our firm is ready to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf. Get started on your claim today and contact (317) 759-1515!
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